Press Release

Put young people at the heart of the Pillar of Social Rights

27. 04. 2017

The European Youth Forum welcomes that the Commission put a strong focus on social rights in its latest proposal. However, to become reality, they need to be supported by concrete legislative proposals and consequent investment and actions from all EU institutions, Member States and all relevant stakeholders.

Young people are more and more frustrated with a system that they feel does not represent their interests. The Pillar of Social Rights is the opportunity for the European Union to ensure the full participation of young people in policies that will shape their life cycle.

The announcement of a consultation with social partners on access to social protection is promising but young people must also be consulted and involved in implementation.

Nafsika Vrettaki, Board Member of the European Youth Forum highlights:

The emergence of new forms of work and income is increasing both risks and opportunities. We need to strengthen our social protection system to ensure that the social rights of young people are guaranteed. We don’t want to be the Deliveroo-generation.

The European Youth Forum is also looking forward to work on the announced review of the working time Directive and the package on worklife balance. Reconciling flexibility and security is crucial for young people who are entering the labour market and transitioning to adulthood. The Pillar especially stresses the rights to “adequate minimum income” and “adequate minimum wage”. This is essential as 30% of young people are currently still at risk of poverty and social exclusion in Europe.

Zuzana Vaneckova, Board Member of the European Youth Forum, regrets:

The Pillar proposal fails to address the discrimination faced by young people on the labour market and social protection – we must ban ‘youth minimum wages’ in the EU. Young people can’t be paid less than the national minimum wage just because of their age.

We call on all EU institutions to work on ambitious policies to provide all citizens, including young people with the highest level of social protection and to include young people and youth organisations in key European discussions and decisions. The European Youth Forum is ready to engage and make social Europe a reality for all.